Teams with established coach-quarterback combinations have dominated unestablished counterparts in the past three Thursday night matchups, winning by 35 points on average. If time together factors into these early-season games played on short weeks, the Indianapolis Colts should love their chances against the Houston Texans in Week 6.
While Colts coach Chuck Pagano and quarterback Andrew Luck are in their third season together, the Texans' Bill O'Brien and Ryan Fitzpatrick are just getting started. There is also the not-so-small detail of Luck's talent advantages over Fitzpatrick and most opposing QBs. That talent is translating to the stat sheet in new ways this season, giving 2014 the appearance of a statistical breakout season for Luck -- one that could narrow his perceived gap between potential and production.
Through five games, Luck is on pace for 5,174 yards passing with 45 touchdown passes -- totals that would obliterate his previous career highs. A look inside the numbers shows a shift in playing style that could enhance Luck's standing in the eyes of evaluators, coaches and players. We might be witnessing the breakout season from Luck that most around in the league have been expecting from him.